A contingent of ADF personnel have linked up with counterparts from 26 nations as part of the world’s largest international maritime exercise.
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Approximately 1,600 Australian Defence Force personnel are set to take part in Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2022 (RIMPAC) — a biennial international military exercise hosted by Commander, US Pacific Fleet.
The exercise is expected to run from 29 June to 4 August, located across training areas in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
The ADF’s contribution is set to involve all three services, including:
- Royal Australian Navy: HMA Ships Canberra, Supply and Warramunga; a Collins Class submarine; mine warfare and clearance diving capabilities.
- Royal Australian Air Force: P-8A Poseidon aircraft,
- Australian Army: Joint Landing Force led by the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment accompanied by personnel and capabilities from other Army units.
In total, this year’s iteration of RIMPAC will feature 26 nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, land forces from nine nations, more than 170 aircraft and approximately 25,000 personnel.
Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said the ADF’s contribution reflects Australia’s commitment to maintaining security in the Indo-Pacific.
“RIMPAC demonstrates Australia’s commitment to both the United States and to preserving the freedoms enjoyed by our regional neighbours,” LTGEN Bilton said.
“We face complex strategic challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, and the Australian Defence Force will take every opportunity to assure our friends that Australia has the ability and the intent to stand by its alliances, agreements and bilateral relationships.”
Royal Australian Navy Commodore Paul O’Grady, DSM CSM, will assume a central command role during the multinational exercise, tasked with leading the maritime component of the exercise as the Combined Force Maritime Component Commander.
“The trust placed by so many nations in Australia’s tactical and operational leaders reflects the emphasis we place on the training and development of our people,” LTGEN Bilton added.
“Overall, I am sure our women and men will prove themselves professional, prepared and an inspiration to our many partners participating in RIMPAC 22.”
The commencement of RIMPAC comes just a day after Defence confirmed Australia and its international partners would engage in aircraft training in the Top End from 19 August to 8 September as part of Exercise Pitch Black.
Touted as the RAAF’s most significant international engagement activity, Exercise Pitch Black aims to develop and enhance military relationships, involving 15 nations from around the world.
The three-week multinational large force employment exercise is set to be conducted primarily from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal.
This year’s iteration would also involve operations out of RAAF Base Amberley.
Activities are expected to include day and night flying involving approximately 100 participating aircraft.
[Related: Top End to host Exercise Pitch Black]